December 9th 2010
Average health expenditure in the EU Member States is forecast to nearly double to 16% of GDP by 2020 due, in large part, to the costs of dealing with the impact of chronic conditions. Despite being largely preventable, chronic conditions are the cause of 86% of premature deaths in the WHO European Region and have significant economic implications.
Chronic conditions are not just a health issue – they impact on the workplace, the home environment, social support services and family networks – yet governments for the most part have been slow to integrate policies, inter-departmental budgets and service provision to suit the needs of patients and providers and facilitate the input of community and private expertise.
EPPOSI’s first workshop in 2008 identified the clear need for a Europe-wide strategy to ensure open, equal access to care and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, which is patient-centred and must recognise the often ignored role of carers. Now the challenge is how to turn that into reality.